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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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the opinion of the Polish community.   On October 3, the Soldiers* Daily
in the Middle East, put the matter bluntly :—
" The situation is clear to us. A government in which would participate
persons who had voluntarily become Soviet citizens,, and who possessed
Russian passports ; deserters who were sentenced by a legal Polish court—
and every other member of this £ Lublin Committee ' who, by signing the
agreement to the change-over of frontiers, and to the deportation of popula-
tion, have, by this fact, committed high treason* and have broken our
Constitution—such a government could not be recognised by any Pole and
soldier, as a legal and constitutional government.'5
At the time when these words were written, the Polish troops, fighting
on the Italian front3 had approached the river Rubicon, a coincidence
pointed out in the Polish Press, — the Polish Government urged by the
British to agree to Moscow's demands, also found itself figuratively on
the banks of that river, Churchill was endeavouring to placate the Soviets
in his speech and convince them he was doing his utmost to execute
Stalin's designs by striving to hand over Poland bound hand and foot. . .
It appeared that the price of continued British support for the Polish
Government was to be the letter's surrender of half its territory . . .
failing this^ came the threat to leave Poland to face aggression from the
East . . . alone. But, in fact, British support for Poland had aheady
ceased, London was openly siding with Russia. The help of Great
Britain over the surrender of Polish territory to Russia was superfluous.
Poland wanted Britain's fulfilment of the existing Anglo-Polish Treaty,
i.e., the assistance necessary to enable her to preserve the integrity of her
country and her independence—nothing more. British sympathy and
eventual polite regrets in the event of Poland's downfall^ would only be of
a relative political significance.
" His Majesty's Government," wrote Nowy Swat in the United States,
" cynically stated that they had, in fact, pledged themselves to defend Poland
to the d^ath, but only in the event of death appearing through the d3or on
the right, when it came through the door on the left, His Majesty's Govern-
ment—we hasten to emphasise, not the British people—made stubborn and
determined efforts for two years, in order to induce the Poles to give up their
independence and accept Russian authority."*
Britain had begun the war under the banners of democracy and as the
defender of the smaller nations, although at the time she was relatively
as weak as any of those nations she was defending. Due to the Battle of
Poland and France, Britain was able to develop her own war-potential
and to build her armies. In 1944, the face of the war was changing and,
as Winston Churchill said, it had " become less ideological " and Britain
limited her role of the defender of smaller nations to those who happened
to be within the span of the British Isles and on the route through
the Mediterranean.
* Matuszewskia I., "Piec lats" (Five Years), Nozuy Swiat, New York, September
4th, 1944.